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Raiders boys lacrosse team storms back to win over Wolfpack

The Hastings boys lacrosse team won a thrilling overtime matchup with Park on Monday, 14-13.

It was all Hastings early on, as the Raiders grabbed a 5-1 lead midway through the first quarter. All of a sudden, everything seemed to be going against the Raiders, though, as Park scored nine straight goals to take a 10-5 lead early in the third quarter.

“I told our guys that this team wouldn’t just give us the game,” coach Brian Jenson said. “They were going to battle back and we had to focus on one play at a time. (We) had to be patient and win the little battles to slowly get

back in to the game. Our defense really tightened up, especially on the man-down, and they gave our offense the opportunities they needed.”

The Raiders slowly trimmed Park’s lead and, with four minutes to play, Tucker Houska tied the game at 11. The Wolfpack took the lead back, but the Raiders’ time of possession in the final minutes gave them the opportunity for Brandon McCarthy to tie it again with two minutes to play.

Hastings and Park started the four-minute overtime, with Hastings again winning the face-off and dominating time of possession.

“I told our offense to keep doing what they had been doing,” Jenson said. “I didn’t have a play to give them because they had been so smart with the ball and finding match-ups that I knew they were going to get it done.”

With 39 seconds remaining in the overtime, McCarthy ended it, giving Hastings a 14-13 win.

“If you were to ask anyone on our team who would get the game winner, everyone would’ve said Brandon,” Jenson said. “He’s been phenomenal for us lately and it was tough to stop him.”

McCarthy had five goals and Nate Holm won 21 of 30 face-offs.

“We had so many guys contribute, but those two really made a difference for us,” Jenson said. “Brandon has been hot all season and is able to give us a spark at any time. We’ve been juggling face-off guys all season, but Nate did really well last game so we gave him all the responsibility against Park and he came through for us.”

Other scorers for the Raiders were Colin Shoen (three goals and two assists), Logan Chilson (three goals and one assist), RJ Martineau (one goal and one assist), Carter Nelson (one goal), Tucker Houska (one goal) and Holm (one assist). Holm led with six groundballs while McCarthy, Tyler Woyke, and Chase Tessier each added four. Brian Willson had 12 saves.

The last time the Raiders and Wolfpack faced off, Hastings came back from a six-goal halftime deficit in the Section 4 playoffs, eventually winning in double overtime.

Hastings is now 4-2 in league play and 6-3 overall.

Vs White Bear Lake

Hastings lost to the top team in the Suburban East Conference on Wednesday, 20-3. White Bear Lake is now 6-0 in league play.

“I think it started with face-offs,” Jenson said. “The possession game is so important, and when you struggle to win face-offs, it’s tough to get momentum. The effort was there, but it’s tough to continue playing when you’re frustrated. We had to work on staying positive throughout because you’re going to have tough games like that.

The Raiders got goals from Kirk Kranz, Tucker Houska and Colin Shoen, while Jason Schultz added one assist. Brian Willson had 10 saves in the loss.

Vs Lakeville South

Hastings and Lakeville South played on Saturday, May 10, in a non-conference game and the Cougars won, 10-8.

“We had another great start to the game,” Jenson said. “We had to make some important adjustments quickly and were able to get three straight goals to take the lead.”

After a tight game that was tied 4-4 at half, it was the Cougars’ 5-0 third quarter that was the difference, Jenson said.

“We made a lot of mental mistakes that third quarter,” he said. “They capitalized on those mistakes and we paid for it in the end. Our offense wasn’t very efficient either, so being down five goals going into the fourth is tough to come back from.”

After an early goal from the Raiders, Lakeville South pushed the lead back to five with less than six minutes remaining. Hastings went into desperation mode and nearly completed an improbable comeback. Hastings scored three goals in two minutes, but it wasn’t enough to catch the Cougars.

Brandon McCarthy led the Raiders with four goals. Colin Shoen added two goals and one assist, Tucker Houska had two goals and Jack Wytaske added one assist. Wytaske and McCarthy had five groundballs, Dylan Helland added four. Brian Willson had 13 saves.